Company name: Hager
Product: Klik 7 Pin
Service: Injection Moulding
As demand grows for increasingly sophisticated lighting control systems, leading electrical supplier Hager keeps innovating to stay ahead. For the Klik range of lighting control systems, Hager launched two major developments to the range supported by on-demand manufacturing services from Protolabs.
Hager first called on Protolabs when working on the successor to its Klik 4 Pin range, a product which dominated the non-digital lighting connection market. The aim of the new product development was to build on the success of the Klik 4 and retain (and reignite) customer interest before the Kilk 4 became outdated. The solution was in the form of a simple-to-install and programme 7-pole, plug-and-play lighting control system, suitable for both digital and standard lighting installations. With Protolabs’ producing rapid prototypes for the concept development and system validation phase, Hager launched the Klik 7 Pin in 2011.
The Klik 7 Pin includes lighting marshalling boxes with between 4 and 12 outlets, a conduit box/surface connector for single luminaire connection, pre-wired pluggable occupancy sensors and pre-wired plugs with 3 or 5-metre leads. The plug-and-socket interface connects all luminaires, whether switch start, digital or emergency lighting. This interchangeability makes it easy to upgrade a standard lighting installation to a fully dimmable option, by simply unplugging the existing fittings and sensors and plugging in the new ones.
Ambitious brief, with a tight deadline
Following Protolabs’ successful involvement in creating Klik 7 Pin, which represented a new generation of lighting control, Hager turned to Protolabs for help when work on further developments to the Klik 7 Pin design commenced in 2014.
The next challenge Hager faced was to address the demand for additional control functionality by producing the most flexible lighting system on the market. In response, Hager developed a system that could manage lighting in a meeting room, office or classroom with up to four different control groups and unlimited profiles.
Protolabs worked closely with both product management and R&D teams at Hager, helping to choose the best material for the application and producing 3D-printed prototypes to meet specific project needs. Then, using its on-demand injection-moulding services, the company produced plastic parts for the electronics control cover, and for the body and casing for the passive infra-red (PIR) occupancy sensor. Protolabs on-demand capabilities helped speed up the development time, and gave Hager the flexibility to order lower volumes at launch, then ramp up production as sales increased.
John Appleton at Hager commented: “Responding to a growing market need for energy efficiency and flexibility meant acting swiftly. We needed a prototype and injection moulding partner that could help us get the product to market as quickly as possible and having worked with Protolabs on several projects, we were able to design the solution to meet the short development time expectations.”
The resulting product, the Klik LCM (lighting control module) is an important enhancement to the Klik 7 Pin system. It can be programmed using Bluetooth through the KlikLink iPad app, making it easy to install, commission, and use. Demand for this kind of user-friendly interactivity is the driving force behind product development at Hager. And, as both speed and precision are vital to each innovation, Protolabs with its rapid, on-demand service offer, is the ideal manufacturing partner for Hager.